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REEL MAINTENANCE - Ensuring a long life for your Fly Reel
Rinsing and Flushing your Fly Reel
Saltwater is highly corrosive and damage to your reel will likely result if
precautions are not taken to remove salt residue at the end of each day. We
can not overemphasize the importance of daily rinsing and flushing when our
reels are used on saltwater!
reel should be submersed in warm fresh water and agitated to remove
loose sand and debris. Warm water helps dissolve the salt. While
holding the reel under water, strip approximately 10 meters of line from
the reel. After winding the line back on the reel, remove the spool.
Thoroughly flush the exposed surfaces of the reel including the spool
bearings. Avoid using high pressure spray, because this could force
debris into unwanted areas, especially in the reverse clutch mechanism.
Shake off excess water and let dry before re-assembling. Apply a
non-petroleum based grease to the bearings and spindles of the reel if
Reels should not be soaked in water for long periods of time. Salt residue
will not dissolve from tightly wound backing. At the end of a trip, line and
backing should be completely stripped from the reel and soaked and cleaned
separately. Also, prolonged soaking can distort the cork material and result in
an uneven drag.
Cleaning and Lubricating your Fly Reel
In addition to routine flushing, your reel will benefit from a thorough
cleaning and lubrication. This should be performed after every saltwater trip
and also periodically, depending on use. It is also a good idea to clean and
lubricate prior to long-term storage of the reel.
General Tips for your Fly Reel
- Try to avoid submersing your reel in saltwater or muddy water.
- Take precautions to never drop or set your reel in sand. Sand grains can
damage drag mechanisms and small precision bearings.
- Reels should not be soaked in water for long periods of time. Fresh water
will not dissolve salt from tightly wound backing. Line and backing should be
completely stripped from the reel and soaked and cleaned separately. Also,
prolonged soaking can distort the cork material and result in an uneven
- Be sure to loosen the drag completely when the reel is not in use and
especially before long-term storage. If the drag is left tight, the cork may
loose its compressibility and become hardened.
- Make absolutely sure your reel is dry before storing. Do not seal it in a
plastic bag or other watertight container because leftover moisture or
condensation can lead to corrosion. This is especially true if residual salt is
- Proper care after each trip will only take a few minutes and ensure reliable
performance of your reel for many seasons to come.
- We recommend the use of a non-petroleum based grease (e.g., silicone or
lithium) to lubricate the bearings and reel spindle. The cork surface does not
normally need lubricating, but a very small amount of synthetic grease will help
restore a drag that has begun to stick or chatter.
- Always store your reel in a protective pouch (most come supplied with
one), or material bag of some kind. Make sure the reel is completely
dry before storage.
- Check your reel after each trip for loose screws which can come undone while fishing.
- Do not over-tightly wind the backing onto your reel. This can cause
undue stress on the spool and can lead to a cracked housing.
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